What if someone told you that your online shop is only a couple of clicks away from jet setting on a globetrotting journey into the hands of consumers around the world? Perhaps you have dreamt of setting up shop on the luxurious avenues of Paris or on the festive streets of Rio de Janeiro, maybe you imagined your store in the heart of Milan… with E-commerce it’s all possible. Today, I’ll share with you the 5 essential elements to internationalize your online shop and make it global sensation.

1. Decide on your Destination: Measure your International Traffic

Before deciding to embark on the globalization of your online store, take a look at your Google Analytics. Try to answer the following questions:

  • How many international visitors is your site receiving? Is it significant? If so, learning about how to take your online shop global is exactly what you should be researching.
  • Where do you lose your international customers? You may lose them right away if they cannot understand your site or they may get lost at the shopping cart or check out pages if you don’t offer international payment and shipping methods.
  • Which countries are your visitors are coming from? Devise a strategy on how many and which countries you want to be able to sell to.

2. Understand the Lingo: Tailor your Website to the Country you’re Targeting

In order to stay relevant today, you need to adapt your site to deliver to consumers who are expecting a personalized experience.

  • Language: You want be sure that you are localizing your entire site and not just the landing page. You may want to read through your content and make sure that phrases are properly translated and not just the words. It should read well to a native speaker.
  • Text Fields: Small details in text fields can make your site lose credibility and confuse your customers. For instance, different countries use different terms such as zip code vs. postal code. You don’t want to confuse your customer with incorrect text fields to fill out.
  • Currency, Weights & Measures: Probably the most important aspect of making your online store global is making sure your conversions reflect the geography of your customers. Your size charts and prices should be accurately converted.

PrestaShop offers native feature that can geo-locate your visitors to display the right currency, language, and measures. Download PrestaShop to check it out!

3. Know How Locals Like to Pay: Payment Gateways & Preferred Methods

All retailers should recognize that consumer behaviors differ greatly throughout the world and different countries have different preferred payment methods. For example, Germany and Poland prefer direct debit transfers whereas Mexico and Japan use COD (cash on delivery) for some E-commerce purchases. Offer customers a locally preferred payment method and customers should not be able to see any payment options that are irrelevant to them.
PrestaShop comes with almost 20 free pre-integrated online payment methods and if you don’t find the specific one that you are looking for, take a look at the PrestaShop Addons Payment modules!

4. Identify Shipping Options: Local and Affordable Shipping is Key

The right delivery options at the right price are essential for converting customers. Shipping can be a sizable cost when entering a new country so researching options can save you substantial money in the long run.
PrestaShop offers over 10 free native shipping methods and there are many more Shipping Modules in the PrestaShop Addons Marketplace

5. Research Local Government Laws: Understanding Foreign Laws

The aspect requiring the most research to make your online store global is understanding the international legal implications. Make sure your website adheres to the legal standards set by each country. Adequately research the following laws for each country you intend on selling to: liability, privacy, return policies, merchant restrictions, export restrictions, taxes, export regulations, payment of tariffs and duties, etc. Take a look at government websites such as business.gov and export.gov to refer you to more resources.

You now know all you need to know about competing on a global scale and can begin your journey! Remember, all of the tools for making your online store a global phenomenon are available in the PrestaShop software. Thanks to our community, we have 56 translations to choose from and a community of 480,000 members from all around the world to help! If you aren’t already a PrestaShop user, download PrestaShop and join our community today! Bon Voyage!

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